jewish cuisine

“Jacqueline Bismuth has turned cuisine into the art of loving. Couscous is the epitome of her passion for cooking. Eating at her place is an initiation. When the couscous pops up on the table, nothing is more delightful than the unusual flavors of its turnip torchi with its bigarade and makbouba of fire and blood. 

Through Jacqueline’s art, Tunisian-Jewish cuisine is livelier than ever, and will remain so for a long time. This is what is written in the biography of the Tunisian cook who has gathered around 100 recipes in her book. The pages of this treasure are an invitation to culinary discovery and a reminiscence of yesteryear’s authentic recipes.

In fact, having a coffee with Jacqueline Bismuth, listening to her talking about world cuisines, past travels or childhood memories feels as good as olive oil and smells as good as a freshly baked cake. A communications professional, she worked in the perfumery field. Jacqueline does not define herself as a chef. She considers herself as a self-taught cook, a mother who cooks for her children and grandchildren. A flavour aficionada who likes to have her family and friends over, around a table with the genuine and elusive taste of generosity!

Her cookbook Tunisie Gourmande: Le Carnet de cuisine de Jacqueline Bismuth, remains the best-selling Tunisian cookbook to date. The book takes the readers decades ago. Moreover, it certainly is a bridge between generations, cultures, and countries. In her conferences and meetings, Jacqueline Bismuth remains focused on the most important things: simplicity, personal claims of participants, and so on. Her action is part of a current and natural concern for the conservation of the past, with only one concern in mind: to transmit the heritage.


Preparation time: 30 min

Cooking time: 2 hours

Difficulty: average


● 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

● 1 tablespoon cumin

● 1 mullet of 1.5 kilos or 1 kilo of grouper

● 2 cloves of garlic

● 6 small carrots

● 2 celery stalks

● 1 kilo of squash

● 6 small potatoes

● salt and pepper

● 100g soaked chickpeas

● olive oil

● 6 green or red peppers

● 1 big and 6 small onions

● 1 kilo of tomatoes

Broth: In a separate saucepan, cook the chickpeas in boiling water. Longer cooking would make them melt. Pour 3 tablespoons olive oil in the pot and fry the pepper over low heat. Put the pepper aside. In the same oil, fry the onions then add the tomatoes reduced in coulis, in addition to the spices, salt and pepper. Let it simmer for now.

The fish: salt the fish, season with crushed garlic and a little cumin and add to the preparation. Cook for ten minutes. Remove the fish and put it aside

The grains and the vegetables

Add boiling water, and adjust the keskes (the upper basket of couscous) containing the grains. Cook for 45 minutes. Add all the vegetables except the squash which should wait another 10 minutes. At the same time, leave the couscous grains to cook another 45 minutes in its steaming keskes.

Add the chickpeas with a glass of the boiling water to the vegetables. Reheat the fish before serving. Adjust the seasoning and serve the grains separately.

Present the fish with vegetables and the broth separately.

The Book: Tunisie Gourmande

Date of publication: 23/03/2017

Publisher: La Martiniere Eds De

Collection: Cuisine Gastronomy

Size: 19cm x 26cm

Number of pages: 256